Being born with a disability can make everything in life more complicated. The person born with the disability may feel normal — since it is all he or she knows — but it quickly becomes clear that to succeed and have a life one would consider normal, you have to go through a number of tribulations. Of course, it is very possible for people with disabilities to go on and do great things. That journey can just be more arduous than it would be for others. The story of David Blunkett, a Member of Parliament in Britain, is a story of overcoming one’s disability and flourishing despite all odds.
Blunkett was born with a genetic disorder that affected his optic nerve, rendering him completely blind. His family in South Yorkshire was very poor and disadvantaged, and his father died following an industrial accident in 1959. The already underprivileged family became even more destitute, and Blunkett seemed destined to be unsuccessful. He tried to gain enrollment at a school for the blind in Worcester, but he failed his assessment and rejected entry.
Blunkett eventually made it into the Royal National College for the Blind and then the University of Sheffield where he received his degree in political theory. It was difficult for Blunkett to make it as far as he did; his nature was to rebel and he fully disliked public school systems, but making it to university was a monumental step in his life. That rebellious streak may have, in fact, been his driving force that made him believe he was good enough to attend college and graduate despite his blindness.
From graduation on, working his way up in the political system became easier and easier. Blunkett’s story helps prove that if you have a goal and you work your hardest toward that goal, whether you’re disabled or not, no one can fault you for your impairments if you show them they don’t matter.